What to do if ...

... your mojo has been taking a long break?
... you hurt something?
... you just don't find the time?
... you can't seem to get things right?
... life is getting in the way of your creative ventures?

It's coincidence that this is part of the Jewelry Artisans Community blog carnival now in December - after not having one in months -  but maybe it's also actually not a bad idea to think about this at the end of the year.

I have started making jewelry and more in late 2008, and of course I took my timeouts over the years. I can't remember a time, however, when it felt so difficult to make something. There's the arthrosis in my thumb joint and other health problems and pains, and they seem to take their toll on me more than they used to. I don't want to whine, but the days of working on something almost obsessively, hours and hours, are definitely over!

Since a few months ago it kept happening that I started making something and messed it up. I'm not saying that was completely new to me, and it didn't happen all the time, but it was in that extent, and I noticed it began messing with my mojo, too. There hadn't been a time when I hadn't felt the urge to fiddle with something, now I could go days without touching any wire or beads, as if that kind of creativity had simply left me.
It may sound ridiculous to you, but it left me kind of uneasy and restless. I had not known it could have such an effect on me.

What else was there to do?
Since I started working with wire and beads, reading had mostly been banned to my commuting and the tub both of which ruled out heavy books or even books that needed concentrated reading. After having been an avid reader since early childhood it now felt almost strange to sit down and "just" read. I don't know if it was that restlessness in the back of my head telling me I should be working on something instead, but I really needed some time to get back into reading.

Then of course there was the computer. Can you imagine for how long you can click back and forth between bookmarks without actually doing something, follow links about artisans who don't seem to have a creative block, play nomogram computer games and try to avoid thinking about how time is running through your fingers senselessly? Now that was definitely something that had to stop, even Ponder got tired of keeping me company on my desk!
I even started doodling hoping it would allow my mind to run freely and find some kind of direction in the process.

Finally I followed my own advice about creative block from another blog carnival some time ago. I made something I didn't have to think about that much because my design was already there, but which left enough room for playing with details to still satisfy the creative urge. Usually that means one of my signature miniature baskets which I can then fill with whatever comes to mind at that moment.
Lately, however, I have been playing with several octopuses, bigger and smaller ones, even some hugging lampwork sharks. Tentacles are a great way to let things flow!

Click to see the details better ...

I can do wire only so often at the moment, though, because it's hard on my thumb joint, and yet I had one of thoses phases when I wasn't drawn to beads, either.
Christmas brought me back to my big bauble stash and also reminded me of an almost forgotten stash of spike beads, so it was time to get out my crochet hook again after some time and do some wire knitting.

And two little snowmen baubles gave me the opportunity to deal with my infamous "glue trauma" and to do a bit of Herringbone beading.

I still wanted to bead loom some gifts before Christmas, too. There's still that little WIP that doesn't want to cooperate with me all the way (honestly, why is that frame "suddenly" bigger or rather the WIP smaller?).

You know, maybe it's okay to see what else there is beside making jewelry. Maybe I don't have to fiddle all the time. Maybe all of me will profit from some change every, now and then - going back to old hobbies, taking some time to pick up things I haven't picked up for a while ... there is still that cardigan I didn't finish because I wasn't sure about the measurements of the front parts anymore ... maybe this is just a lesson for me to not obsess about something or I will mess it up. Huh. Quite the lesson shortly before a new year will be upon us ;-)

You want to know what other JAC members have to say?
Check it out here!

Jewelry Art by Dawn